Pascal Siakam needed only three quarters to reach 30 points, five rebounds and five assists Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.
A night, hallmarked by a 19-point explosion in the third quarter by the emerging Toronto Raptors star, Siakam is now averaging 28 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 51 per cent shooting and a 44.4 per cent clip from deep.
Those are some gaudy numbers in the early-goings this season and seems to have already answered the question of if Siakam is actually capable of taking yet another leap after a breakout 2018-19 season.
Before Toronto took on Detroit Wednesday evening, Donnovan Bennett and Faizal Khamisa discussed the apparent jump Siakam was taking after only four games on the NBA Chatroom, with words that might be even more relevant after his gem against the Pistons.
“All-NBA might not be enough,” said Bennett. “Assuming they keep this team together and they keep winning, why can’t he be an MVP-conversation guy? I know that sounds crazy but look at the numbers he’s put up.”
It’s a little early for MVP discussion, but there’s no denying Bennett’s argument about Siakam’s monster numbers thus far. And, as Khamisa pointed out, these figures have been a product of two major apparent developments in Siakam’s game.
“What I liked about this year is the passing game has improved, that’s one element of his game that I think is much more different. The ball is going through Pascal Siakam,” said Khamisa. “And then the above-the-break three, something we saw very little to none of in Pascal’s first three seasons in the NBA. … If he adds that element of his game on top of the passing element and running the point – which the Raptors trust him to do more this season – there might be no stopping this guy.”
Specifically to Khamisa’s point about Siakam’s new above-the-break three-point weapon, last season he only attempted 63 of them and shot 27 per cent from those areas as he was a guy who was pretty much relegated to the corners (the left one, in particular) for his three-point shooting. This season, however, he’s already attempted 20 above-the-break triples and has converted on 55 per cent of his looks, to just seven tries from the corners, where he’s only hit one shot from those spots.
You can check out Wednesday’s episode of NBA Chatroom in full in the video player above, and can catch it live it every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET.